Researchers recently performed a meta-analysis of the outcomes of patient groups receiving platelet-rich plasma therapy by preparation method and injection technique in tendinopathy. The goal was to determine the clinical effectiveness of the preparations and to evaluate the effect of controls used in the studies reviewed.
Tendinopathy is very common in the general population. There are increasing numbers of clinical studies referring to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as a treatment for tendinopathy. "Tendinopathy refers to a disease of a tendon. The clinical presentation includes tenderness on palpation and pain, often when exercising or with movement. Several terms have evolved in the medical terminology to refer to injuries that cause tendon pain such as tendinitis - acute tendon injury accompanied by inflammation."
Researchers evaluated multiple databases in March 2012, April 2014, and August 2015. Outcome measures of pain and follow-up time of 3 months were included in this review. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration risk-of-bias tool by 2 reviewers. Data were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. The primary outcome measure was a change in pain intensity.
A total of 18 studies (1066 participants) were included. The most significant outcomes in the PRP groups were seen in those treated with highly cellular leukocyte-rich PRP (LR-PRP) preparations. Researchers found there is good evidence to support the use of a single injection of LR-PRP under ultrasound guidance in tendinopathy. Both the preparation and intratendinous injection technique of PRP appear to be of great clinical significance.
In conclusion, based on the analysis of multiple studies, platelet-rich plasma therapy is shown to significantly decrease pain intensity associated with tendinopathy, commonly referred to as tendinitis.